The Carbon Tax Sideshow

Ever since the one-two of Hurricane Sandy and Obama’s re-election the ever hopeful climate campaigners have a new spring in their step, thinking they’re back in business and surely now we’ll get planet-saving measures, such as a carbon tax.  Grover Norquist was temporarily equivocal about the idea, my old pals at AEI have had more meetings about it, and gadzooks, even ExxonMobil has said they’re fine with the idea.  (Actually they have been all along, but the cloistered climate campaigners never bothered to notice.)

Hurricane Sandy had nothing to do with climate change—I’m not even going to bother with the links—and it would seem that President Obama wants nothing to do with a carbon tax either.  He just proposes a “national conversation” about it, which, if it’s like our long-running “national conversation about race” will go on forever.  Greens should be worried rather than thrilled.

And then there was this yesterday during Jay Carney’s daily “gaggle” with the media:

Q  [The President] seemed to almost go out of his way to dismiss the idea of a carbon tax, kind of rule it out.  Why did he — why was he so –

MR. CARNEY:  We would never propose a carbon tax, and have no intention of proposing one.  The point the President was making is that our focus right now is the same as the American people’s focus, which is on the need to extend economic growth, expand job creation.  And task number one is dealing with these deadlines that pose real challenges to our economy, as he talked about yesterday. . .

Q   So if you don’t do anything with the carbon tax, what can you do about climate change in the short term?  He talked about a national conversation, but beyond that, what does he want to do?

MR. CARNEY:  Well, the President, as he spoke about yesterday, has already taken significant steps, including doubling our fuel-efficiency standards, including doubling our renewable energy production and the investments that we’ve made in other areas of clean energy that will improve the situation from what it would have been in terms of carbon emissions. . .

Q   Can we expect climate change to come up in his speech today, in his prepared remarks?

MR. CARNEY:  I would not expect that.

I’ve got it: for all those folks who want to link Hurricane Sandy and climate, let’s have Obama put FEMA in charge of climate change policy.  Yeah, that’s the ticket.

More seriously, it is clear Obama only wants higher taxes on “the rich.”  And he (correctly) recognizes that environmentalists are cheap dates/abused spouses who will stick with him no matter what.

UPDATE: Some of the greens are starting to notice.  Heh.

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